Indonesian nasi goreng (fried rice) diplomacy!

Hej, hej!

Do you agree that studying abroad can be both exciting and painful? You may realize that the exciting part could be about seeing new things, meeting people from different cultures, going places you’ve never seen before, or trying out… new food! At the same time, you are also homesick that you miss all the regular things you may take for granted at your home countries like…the local food! If you are dealing with that problem right now, I hope you can pull yourself together to cook and fulfil your cravings immediately. Don’t let yourself suffer for too long. It might even be more fun to cook together with friends, share your food with your international friends, and try their foods as well.

During my student life at Lund, I have realized that food is always the best diplomacy to begin friendship or exchange cultures. And I witnessed it one more time on November 9 when I was attending an event created by EOS Cares and East Asia Student Association in Lund (EASA). The event was so special to me and my Indonesian friends because they created an event to raise the donation to the victims of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi Province in Indonesia, which happened on September 28, 2018. When it happened, many people checked on me and asked if my family was OK or just shared their condolences. It was really nice to hear people prayed for your family and people in your country. And here, EOS and EASA showed even more generous gestures by creating a donation through cooking workshop!

Everybody loves Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng is like a comfort food to Indonesian people. It is hard to find an Indonesian who does not like Nasi Goreng because it tastes good, makes you full, and super simple to cook. The main ingredient is rice, which you stir together with onion, eggs, chicken/vegetables, chili, and sweet soy sauce. It is a food that can be enjoyed either in breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and suits well for the formal or informal situation. From street food outlets to fancy restaurants, nasi goreng is always on a high demand.

Nasi goreng buntut – Courtesy of detikFood

Around one month before the event, EOS and EASA tried to contact as many Indonesians as possible to collaborate. They wanted to have the real Indonesians to help in the cooking workshop where nasi goreng was the main menu. Finally, on behalf of Indonesian Students Association (PPI) at Lund, we participated in the event to collaborate with EOS and EASA by preparing the cooking workshop and did a short presentation about nasi goreng and Indonesia!

Presentation about nasi goreng and Indonesia Indonesian Student Association (PPI) in Sweden
A welcome from EASA and EOS as event creators

Cook-along by EOS Cares

The idea was to learn cooking nasi goreng while at the same time donating the money to the earthquake’s victims in Palu, Indonesia. Those who wanted to join the workshop or just take-way or dine-in, were asked to pay 40kr (for EOS members) and 50kr (for non-members). The profit of the event was sent to Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT), an Indonesian NGO for humanity and emergency responses.

I find it fascinating to see people learning about my culture through the cooking workshop. They seemed to enjoy it and had fun. When we asked around, they said they loved it! And I have to say that it was really good! Kudos to the PPI (Indonesian Student Association) who prepared all the ingredients and created the main seasoning!

Cooking team preparing nasi goreng for charity

Finally, this is it! A bowl of nasi goreng freshly cooked from the workshop.

Courtesy of Carolina Yang

Thank you so much EOS and EASA for initiating the event. Nasi goreng has united as all!

P.S: Check out the Top 40 Indonesian foods from CNN to find out more traditional foods from Indonesia!


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